Monday, March 10, 2008

The Nature of Friendship

As I said goodbye to a friend yesterday, she said, "It's amazing, isn't it, that we never run out of things to talk about." She's right. We've known each other since we were eighteen and at university and meet - just the two of us - to see a movie or have lunch or coffee every now and then as well as going out once a month with a group of mutual friends .
Yesterday we went to see the movie Juno. It's a wonderful movie by the way - brilliant script, beautifully acted and filmed. You should go and see it. But back to the subject. We went for coffee after and we talked - a lot. I couldn't tell you most of what we talked about but here's what I can remember - we talked about the film and its use of symbols, a mutual friend who is in hospital in intensive care, odds and ends about our ancestors, what our children are doing, our parents, our siblings, a newly released biography of John Adams - a founding father of the US for those who aren't interested in history, what we would like to do if we ever reach retirement - live on a small-holding in case you want to know, planned social outings, Swancon (the Speculative Fiction convention being held in Perth over the Easter weekend), that writing really is a job, how much of why and how we ended up where we are now was choice and how much was circumstance or accident, spirituality and the differences between today's lifestyle and our childhood.
This set me thinking about the nature of friendship. My friend and I are of different faiths. She grew up in a family consisting mostly of immigrants from Europe and the Middle East who arrived during the 1930s while my family came to Western Australia with the first British settlers in 1829. Our personalities are different in many ways and we definitely do not always agree but we have many interests in common and we both grew up in the post WW2 years in families with similar ethics. We've travelled together, comforted and supported each other in good and bad times and laughed - a lot. Apart from that though the glue that holds us together I think is respect for each other, that we truly care about one another and we have genuine pleasure in each other's company.
Do you think that defines friendship? I'd love to hear your comments.

1 comment:

Laura E. Goodin said...

I reckon there are probably as many definitions of friendship as there are people who participate in it....